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Ghost Town USA’s

Guide to the Ghost Towns of

KENTUCKY

“The Bluegrass State

 

 

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Western & Eastern Treasures

Ghost Town USA Column Index for Kentucky

Ghost towns abound in Kentucky.  However, this mountainous state’s history seldom brings them to light.

 

 

 

Towns grew up and died, and Kentucky added many to the growing roster of ghosts that Ghost Town USA is out to discover and share.

 

If you know of any ghost towns in the Bluegrass State that are not listed here, or know the current status of towns listed with little information, please contact us…

 

 

 

 

HELP! (NEW FEATURE) Please check here to find a list of ghost towns that various contacts are looking for.  IF you have any information on these places please e-mail me and I can respond back to those looking for info on these ghosts.

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: 

Where photos are indicated thusly (PHOTO!), please use your browser’s “BACK” button to return to this page.  More photos will be added over time.

 

THE GHOSTS

 

BARTHELL

McCreary Co.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

BEAVER FURNACE

Menifee Co.

This old iron furnace is located at Scranton, in the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest.  Scranton is on SH 1274, eight miles northeast of Frenchburg, and about 55 miles east of Lexington.  It began operation around 1819 and closed in the early 1870s.  It was one of about 80 such furnaces scattered about Kentucky in the early 1800s.

Blue Heron

McCreary Co.

A class C/F former company-owned coal mining camp located at Mine 18, on SH 742, nine miles southwest of Stearns.  From 1937-1962, some 300 miners once worked in this camp carved into the side of a mountain overlooking the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River.  The old town has been restored and the site is operated as a concession in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.

This is our Ghost Town of the Month for Jun/Jul 2007

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

BOONE FURNACE

 

 

Carter Co.

The overgrown rock stack of this furnace still remains.  It was in operation 1856-1871. For the exact location, see below.  It is in the northwestern part of the county, and VERY EASY to miss. (GBS)

 

 

“Today, I managed to spot the Boone Furnace in Carter Co., Ky. ‘Spot’ is the right word, for I've driven past that area 1,000s of times, and never once saw it, but yet I heard rumors of a furnace that was near the Lewis/Carter Co. border, and could be seen from the AA/#9 highway. It is located behind the brick house with the red roof. The area map I have shows a town, which I believe is about a mile off from where the furnace really is. 

 

I'm very interested in the old historical furnaces and trying to collect photos of them, in Kentucky, especially since it appears no one else does.  Contributed by Kevin C. Redden, Nov 17, 2004)

(GBS note – I put this here instead of on the HELP! Page.  If anyone can help Kevin, please contact me and I will forward the info to him – thanks!)

 

It's located on the left (heading towards Grayson), on the AA highway (#9, or on older maps #546) from Lewis Co.  An old road alignment goes right to it. There's a lovely home with a red roof with the furnace right behind it. The land is marked with 'NO TRESPASSING' signs, but the alignment goes right around the furnace, and you can get within about ten meters (yards) at the closest to it.

Update from Kevin Reddin, May 17, 2005)

BUFFALO FURNACE

Greenup Co.

This 1851-1875 era iron furnace employed about 150 men.  It is marked by an historical marker at the entrance to Greenbo Lake Park, which is west of SH 1, seven AIR miles south of Greenup, ten AIR miles west of Ashland, in the far northeastern corner of the state.

CAMP CLIO

Pulaski Co.

This 1861 Civil War military post was located on the south side of the Cumberland River about 12 miles south of Somerset, near Bronston.  It was a training camp for the 12th KY (Union) Infantry regiment.

CAMP CRITTENDEN

Marion Co.

Near Lebanon...exact location not determined.  It was a Union hospital post, and was attacked by General John Morgan in July 1862.  It was also the home post for the 10th Kentucky Infantry unit.

CAMP WOLFORD

Pulaski Co.

Civil War era camp located on the north side of the Cumberland River about eight miles south of Somerset, near Burnside.  This Union camp was the home for the 3rd Kentucky Volunteer Infantry regiment

CEDAR BLUFF

Caldwell Co.

This tiny town northeast of the northern tip of Land Between the Lakes had 20 people in 1990.  It is on the railroad, about three miles southeast of Princeton, at or near the junction of SH 91/128.

CLINTON FURNACE

Boyd Co.

This historic iron furnace was built in 1833 by the Poage brothers.  It is located on US 60 at the junction with SH 538, about six miles southwest of downtown Ashland. 

COLUMBUS

(Original location)

Hickman Co.

After Washington, D.C. was burned in 1814, a number of folks platted the town of Columbus along the Mississippi River at Iron Banks, hoping to relocate the nation's capital.  That bid failed, but the small town still grew slowly.  The site flooded periodically, so in 1927 the town moved east, away from the river.  Present-day Columbus and its 300 or so people sits at the junction of SH 58 and SH 123, nine miles northwest of Clinton in the far western tip of the state.  The original site along the river is now part of the Columbus-Belmont Battlefield State Park ($).

ESTILL SPRINGS

Estill Co.

This old resort and Civil War recruiting station was located along present-day SH 89, at the foot of Sweet Lick Knob, ½ mile north of Irvine.  A state historical marker (#555) is at the site.  A resort operated here between 1814 and 1924, when the hotel burned.  In 1861 a recruiting station was located here, and it also served as the home for the 8th Kentucky (Union) Infantry Volunteer Regiment.

ESTILL STATION

Madison Co.

This small settlement was located along Hinkston Creek, about three miles southeast of present day Richmond.  It dates to the 1780s. It was probably named after Captain James and Samuel ESTILL.

FITCHBURG

Estill Co.

State Historical Marker #1054 marks the location of the Red River Iron Works, about eight miles northeast of Ravenna, on SH 52.  These furnaces closed in 1874.  Nearby was the support town of Fitchburg.  The furnaces were operated by Blackstone and Chandler.  Fitchburg, began in 1871, but today is only a scattered rural community.

FORT HEIMAN

Calloway Co.

A Civil War-era Confederate defensive fort overlooking the Tennessee River, about six miles southeast of New Concord.  It was in process of being built when Fort Henry across the river in Tennessee was shelled and destroyed by Union gunships. Ft. Heiman was abandoned, and quickly occupied by Union troops for a year or so.  Then in 1864, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest moved in with a small regiment of troops.  They installed cannons, harassing Union shipping on the river below by sinking and capturing ships.  After the war ended, the fort was nearly forgotten.

FURNACE

Estill Co.

Established around 1830 at the Estill Iron Furnace, this iron furnace community grew to about 300 folks.  When the furnace closed in the 1870s the town faded.  The post office finally closed in 1975.  The town was located at the junction of SH 52/213 northeast of Irvine.

GOLDEN POND

Trigg Co.

Located on the Land Between the Lakes Peninsula, Golden Pond was one of several communities that occupied the area prior to the 1960s.  At that time the property was purchased by the federal government to be converted into a National Recreation Area.  People were evicted from the land that some held nearly 200 years.  By 1980 only five people remained.  Today only the small white clapboard St. Stephen Catholic Church remains where some 700 families once lived.

JUNIATA

Hart Co.?

See a photo of the Jolly Store in Juniata.  The people pictured are numbered left to right and are identified as:

1: Millie JOLLY

2: Nancy Toomey JOLLY

3: John Thomas Hessie JOLLY

4: John Thomas JOLLY

5: James Henry JOLLY

 

Contributed by E JOLLY, Dec 16, 2005.

MT. SAVAGE

Carter Co.

This iron furnace/coal mining community was located about three miles south of Grayson.  The exact location is not determined.  In the early 1990s, the furnace was still standing.

PITTS POINT

Bullitt Co.

Pitts Point was located along the Salt and Rolling Forks rivers on what is now Fort Knox army base. The Army relocated the residents and people are only allowed to visit the site once a year when the Army opens the town to family members for cemetery decoration days. My husband told me about the town as a bit of folklore that still stands.  

Contributed by Amy Wright,  Sep 01, 2004

PLEASANT HILL

Mercer Co.

Also known as Shakertown, this restored Shaker Village is located on US 68, seven miles northeast of Harrodsburg.  It is the largest restored Shaker village in the country, and is a National Historic Landmark.  It was established in 1805, and faded by the 1920s.   ($)

RUCKERVILLE

Clark Co.

On SH 89, seven miles southeast of Winchester, and 25 AIR miles southeast of Lexington.  It was originally settled in 1823, and had a post office in operation from 1850-1906.  During the 1800s it had a gristmill and other large businesses.  It is still shown on the state roadmap, and had a 1990 population of 25.

SCRANTON

Menifee Co.

On SH 1274, eight miles northeast of Frenchburg.  The iron furnace was established in 1819 in the small community of Scranton, which had a 1980 population of 30.  Ruins of the furnace remain.

TOUSEY

Grayson Co.

This old town is located about 12 miles west-northwest of Leitchfield, on SH 54, three miles west of the town of Short Creek.  It isn’t shown on the current state road map.  The town name dates back to the 1800s when the post office was established, Charlie White and Jim Young were the storekeeper and postmaster, and head citizens of the yet unnamed town.  A gentleman named Tom Tousey came through, and said to name it after him.  They took him up on the offer.  During the earlier days of the town, a flourmill operated down on the creek.  The mill was torn down in 1934. 

 

Here is some additional information contributed by Walter Laughlin

The Former Associate Director, Kentucky Covered Bridge Association.  Tousey, KY still appeared on state maps into the 1970's.  KY Map Sales sells sets of the 1937 maps which were the first detailed maps printed by the KY Highway Department.  There was a covered bridge still standing at Tousey in 1937.  It had disappeared by the mid-1940's…

WADESBORO

Calloway Co.

Wadesboro was the first Calloway County seat.  Here a land office anchored the town of over 300 folks.  However, once the majority of the public land had been sold, Wadesboro faded. People moved away, buildings fell into disrepair, and the county seat relocated to Murray.

YOCUM

Morgan Co.

This tiny town had a 1990 population of 20 people, and is located in the northwest part of the county, 6½ miles northwest of West Liberty.

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

Historians estimate that there may be as many as 50,000 ghost towns scattered across the United States of America.

Gary B. Speck Publications is in process of publishing unique state, regional, and county guides called

The Ghost Town Guru's Guide to the Ghost Towns of “STATE”

These original guides are designed for anybody interested in ghost towns. Whether you are a casual tourist looking for a new and different place to visit, or a hard-core ghost town researcher, these guides will be just right for you. With over 30 years of research behind them, they will be a welcome addition to any ghost towner's library.

Thank you, and we'll see you out on the Ghost Town Trail!

 

For more information on the ghost towns of KENTUCKY, contact us at

Ghost Town USA.

 

E-mailers, PLEASE NOTE:

Due to the tremendous amount of viruses, worms and “spam,” out there, I no longer open or respond to e-mails with unsolicited attachments, OR messages on the subject lines with “Hey”, “Hi”, “Need help”, “Help Please”, “???”, or blank subject lines, etc.  If you do send E-mail asking for information, or sharing information, PLEASE indicate the appropriate location AND state name, or other topic on the “subject” line.

THANK YOU!  :o)

IMPORTANT

 

These listings and historical vignettes of ghost towns, near-ghost towns and other historical sites in KENTUCKY above are for informational purposes only, and should NOT be construed to grant permission to trespass, metal detect, relic or treasure hunt at any of the listed sites.

 

If the reader of this guide is a metal detector user and plans to use this guide to locate sites for metal detecting or relic hunting, it is the READER'S responsibility to obtain written permission from the legal property owners. Please be advised, that any state or nationally owned sites will probably be off-limits to metal detector use. Also be aware of any federal, state or local laws restricting the same.

When you are exploring the ghost towns of KENTUCKY please abide by the

Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics.

 

 

 

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THIS PAGE

FIRST POSTED:  December 07, 2001

LAST UPDATED: August 07, 2010

 

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